11 Ingenious Ways to Get Your Family to Eat More Vegetables

From pasta to burgers, there's a way to add vegetables to just about anything!

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Eating vegetables is an important part of a healthy diet. That's why people from places like the Mediterranean region who tend to eat a large variety of vegetables are so much healthier.

Vegetables contain a variety of essential vitamins and minerals so eating a variety will ensure that our bodies get what we need. The USDA has suggested eating three to five servings a day and because  nature has color coded fruits and vegetables so eating the rainbow will give you everything you need.

But what do you do with a picky eater who hates vegetables? Someone who would never willingly eat broccoli or kale?

So instead of serving vegetables as a side dish, or giving up on serving them at all, make them as appealing and inviting as possible. The key is to incorporate vegetables into meals that your family already loves.

Here are 11 creative ways you can include more vegetables into your family's diet:

Super Soups 

Soups are the cold weather go-to-food. Make a nourishing pureed soup using winter squash, pumpkin, carrots, cauliflower, or a combination and make it sweet or savory. Cook up a pot of hearty minestrone filled with vegetables, beans and pasta or make a hearty tomato vegetable soup.

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Easy Veggie Lasagna 

Just add layers of zucchini or spinach to your layers of either cheese or meat lasagna. You can also add finely chopped vegetables to your homemade tomato sauce. You can also make pasta dishes healthier by substituting tri-colored or all veggie spaghetti or rotini in your favorite recipes.

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Baked-Egg Cups

Make your morning rush easier and healthier by making baked-egg cups in muffin tins. There is a recipie from Super Healthy Kids and some health tips too. Egg cups can be made ahead of time and froxen. Baked-egg cups also make a delicious after-school snack.

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Slow-Cooker Meals

Besides the advantage of having your meal cook while you are at work, this is an easy way to get more vegetables into your family. Make a one-pot meal filled with carrots, parsnips, and turnips added to the usual meat and potatoes meal. You can make stews, chilies, curries, pot pies, and many more meals in a slow cooker. Your food is ready when you get home, clean-up is easy, and you can freeze the leftovers.

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Smoothies or Juices

While most smoothies or juices are made of fruit, you can incorporate vegetables into them too. Add fresh greens like spinach and kale to avocado, mango, strawberry  or peach smoothies. Use carrots in your juicer to drink alone or added to orange juice.

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Veggie Up Your Omelets

Omelets are a great way to add veggies to your diet. They are easy to make, just fry beaten eggs in a little canola oil or margarine and add fillings that include vegetables like spinach, onions, tomatoes or peppers cheeses, and meats. To make your omelet even healthier use only egg whites or egg beaters and low-fat cheese.

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Bulk-Up Casseroles

One-pot casseroles are not just for potluck dinners. Casseroles typically combine pieces of meat or fish potatoes, peas, and grains like rice or pasta. Bulk-up the vegetables by adding cooked cauliflower or broccoli into mac-n- cheese, butternut squash to chili, or spinach to curries and dal. You can add additional vegetables to any recipe for a one-pot meal.

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It's a Wrap

Use lettuce as a wrap instead of bread or tortillas. Taste of home has a collection of 40 recipes for lettuce wrapped dishes including Vietnamese pork wraps, spicy turkey wraps, and tuna and white bean wraps. If lettuce doesn't appeal to you, make more traditional wraps using grain-free wraps or tortillas.

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Robust Roasts

Add hearty vegetables like butternut squash, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or root vegetables to your beef or pork roasts. Serve sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes to make your meal healthier.

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Veggie Burgers

Veggie burgers are a great tasting substitute for meat and can be made at home from vegetables and nuts or purchased in supermarkets. Over the past few years, vegetarian and vegan food options have mushroomed. You can even get a veggie burger or faux chicken meal in fast food restaurants.  

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Cauliflower Anything

This versatile vegetable can be mashed or pureed and used to replace almost anything. Serve mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes, cauliflower granules instead of rice, and use you can even replace pizza crust with cauliflower mash.

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